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I Cheer A Dead Man’s Sweetheart: 21 Painters in Britain, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK Art 14, Olympia, London

15 March, 2014

Sat 15 Mar 2014-
Sun 29 Jun 2014

Tickets: Free entry

Booking & Information:
01424 229 111

cheerinstall1

Frank Auerbach | Frank Bowling | Jeffery Camp | William Daniels | Jacqui Hallum | Sophie von Hellermann | Andrew Kerr | Katy Kirbach | Leon Kossoff | Henry Krokatsis | Bruce McLean | Christopher Le Brun | Lisa Milroy | Alessandro Raho | Hayley Tompkins | Phoebe Unwin | Joella Wheatley | Adrian Wiszniewski | John Wonnacott | Jessica Warboys| Gary Wragg

Co-curated by Dan Howard-Birt

“it challenges boundaries about what painting should be….interesting, ambitious and provocative” Financial Times

“An evocative celebration of the richness and complexity of painting as it is happening in studios all over Britain in the work of artists, from established to up-and-coming” The Times

Eye – Mind, Heart, Freedom, Discipline – Painting

Paint, drawing and colour are the unifying vehicles for me that dialogue between complexity and simplicity, where intuition, perception, sensations and ideas interact, consciously or otherwise. Drawing has always been the core of my painting, that I understand  mostly in terms of colour, to illuminate that which can, and cannot be seen.

Every studio workday for me is about looking, looking and looking and the feel of things that connect with the painting in progress. Direct experience of the work is essential, to see it as much as is possible without memory, arranging and re-arranging in a renewal and re-discovery of paint, its layering, colour and light. This holds a magic and a mystery for me to discover and realize both felt and seen, internal and external sensations through painting.

Over the decades I have practiced a natural integration of the separate disciplines of painting and Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi Chuan is a Chinese art of human action of energy in stillness and movement. It is a meditation of stillness in movement. The sensations during my daily practice of Tai Chi Chuan for me contribute to the everyday direct, physical putting on of paint, without idea or thought.

My painting from the early nineteen-sixties to the mid nineteen-seventies generally but not exclusively emphasised  stillness over movement. Thereafter the emphasis was on movement over stillness, the stillness within movement, and movement within stillness. In recent decades I have experimented with combinations of kinds of order and balance/imbalance –chaos, dynamic sensations – a complimentary state of tranquility and calm, fusing tactile and optical permutations.

‘Mind’ in Tai Chi Chuan equals eye and heart, and combines ‘Hsin’, the organising aspect of planning, and ‘Yi’, sensing, implementing, and spontaneous without thought – what in Zen is termed ‘mindful mindlessness.’ For me it is the same with my painting and drawing.

Chance and landing up in a mess is where for me the riches are in painting from which to locate a personal sense of order. The magnetism of the painted surface invites exploration of freedom and discipline where the feel of the paint and space stimulate a direct-ness, void of storytelling. It is as you see it. At times the paintings become overworked, making it a challenge to end up with a fresh statement, that I hope has precision, clarity of colour, luminosity of inner light, and a feeling of air to breath.

Gary Wragg
27/9/2013

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